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Alicia Keys Reveals How She Learned to Love Herself


Trae Patton/NBC

Alicia Keys has finally overcome her self-esteem issues. Despite her many accomplishments and success, the singer opens up in a lengthy blog post for her official website, in which she recalls hiding her identity, dressing as a tomboy and dealing with gay rumors early in her career.

The singer reveals that she started “hiding” in school and later as a teenager. “I definitely started hiding when I got old enough to walk down my NY streets alone. I started to notice a drastic difference in how men would relate to me if I had on jeans, or if I had on a skirt, or if my hair was done pretty,” she writes.  “I could tell the difference, I could feel the animal instinct in them and it scared me. I didn’t want to be talked to in that way, looked at in that way, whistled after, followed.”

As a result, AK decided to avoid “pretty dresses” and began to wear baggy jeans, ponytail and hat, no make up, no bright colors or lipstick. “I chose to hide. Pieces at a time. Less trouble that way,” she adds.

However, that image caused many to question her sexuality when she gained recognition as an artist. “Because of the way I spoke or carried myself, people started calling me gay and hard and I wasn’t gay, but I was hard and although I felt comfortable there, it made me uncomfortable that people were judging me and so slowly I hid that side of myself,” Alicia explains.

After giving herself permission to be herself, Alicia adds that she had an epiphany recently: ”I became comfortable hiding, my intelligence, my physical appearance, my truths, my thoughts, myself … And just the other day it hit me! OMG! Alicia!!! Why are you choosing to be that person?? That is so old and outdated!! STOP!!”

The singer’s new perspective on life is reflected in her latest single, “28 Thousand Days.”  She adds, “I only got 28,000 of those days. So what the F– am I waiting for?? And dammit that’s what I’m doing!!!!”

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